Business challenge: to transform automotive safety from something traditional and expected into a meaningful and relevant movement in line with Volvo’s purpose and brand strategy. In specific, the challenge was to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Volvo’s safety belt.
Category finding: 80% of all car purchases were influenced by women + their top priority: safety. Yet 3 in 4 women feel misunderstood by the industry.
Second finding: A fatal equality issue in the auto industry. Women are 71% more likely to be injured and 17% more likely to die in a car crash.
Volvo’s philosophy has since 1927 been to put peoples safety first. Since the 1970s, their Accident Research Team have collected data from real-life crashes and learned that women and appear equally in this data. Therefore Volvo Cars believes that cars should tested equally and especially, built equally.
Describe the cultural / social / political climate in your region and the significance of your campaign within this context
The equality problem in the auto industry is global. Women are 71% more likely to be injured and 17% more likely to die in a car crash. The reason? Most crash tests are based on male crash test dummies. Even when a female dummy is used, it is often simply a scaled-down male dummy.
As a result, it also has major financial and psychological consequences for women. In addition, 93% of all global road crash deaths occur in low/middle-income countries even though they only stand for 60% of fleet. One reason: unsafe cars. And until now, no OEM (original equipment manufacturer) has brought up the issue and recognized the reports published by universities and institutes all around the globe.
Even though there are many news articles addressing the problem across the world, there is still a long way to go when it comes to full equality of protection between men and women. More than anything, it reveals an unpleasant truth about today’s culture and a society still built for men. Feminist writer Caroline Criado-Perez also recently highlighted the issue in a new book about data.
Describe the creative idea
60 years ago, they gave away their three-point safety belt patent. So, we thought: what if we could get Volvo to make cars safer for everyone, once again? Rather than celebrating an anniversary, we pushed back as we saw a bigger impact in closing gender gap.
And so we did. To make cars safer for women, we collected all of Volvo’s safety research and made it available to everyone. By creating a digital library with data from more than 43,000 collisions and 72,000 people, the research became open and free to any company to learn from.
For the first time ever, anyone could download more than 40 years of research and learn how it has led to some of Volvo’s most innovative systems. We then gave the numbers a face and showed how the injustice personally affects women in a global campaign with film, print, social, outdoor, and PR.
Describe the strategy
We conducted stakeholder interviews, consumer surveys, studied Volvo’s proprietary and third-party safety research, reads through NCAP testing protocols, SEO analysis, more than 100 hours of desk research including press from 1960 and onwards.
We learned that most crash tests are based on men. Even when a female dummy is being used, it is often simply a scaled-down male dummy. But differences in anatomy between men and women are crucial when it comes to car safety, so when automakers ignore them — the results can be deadly.
We saw an opportunity to to create real change in the car industry. In stead of celebrating the past 60 years, we wanted to look ahead. Volvo’s Safety Data was the key in their superiority in the field. To do something, we hade to give it away, to sustain the brands position on Safety for real.
Describe the execution
The challenge was to catch the attention of regular consumers around a complex subject. It went live at a live streamed summit hosted by Volvo. After that, we launched the campaign globally, using the car safety inequality to prove Volvo’s safety authority. To engage people, we showed how the injustice affects women in a direct way. Getting attention was by by making it digital-first, yet supply it with DOOH/OOH which is great for driving better digital and social results. The campaign spanned web, social platforms, outdoor, social influencer campaigns and PR.
Every campaign element directed people to the website where anyone could download the research and learn how it has led to Volvo’s most innovative systems. The site played a crucial role in building credibility and global reach beyond paid media. We aimed to reinterpret as many different touch points as possible to make the data relatable.
Describe the results / impact
The campaign went global - sparking conversations across the world, making it to morning TV shows all over, e.g. in the UK. The highest number of downloads came from China, where 100 new car brands see the light of day every year - this without the campaign even running in China. It also created a debate within the auto industry as other carmakers embraced the initiative, such as electric vehicle startup Uniti. The European Commission picked up the campaign, and tweeted out their appraisal, for raisning awareness around the inequality, and the fact that Volvo Cars is trying to eliminate it. Volvo Cars Brand Share of Voice online exceeded Audi, Land Rover and Volkswagen in the period.
Campaign site visits first month: 850.000+
Downloads from library: 20.000+
Film views: 135.000.000+
+900 news outlets
Earned media reach: +500M
SoMe reach: +100M
SoMe impressions: +290M